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A View from the Tropics: Celso Furtado and the Theory of Economic Development in the 1950s


  • Mauro Boianovsky


The article shows how Celso Furtado's interpretation of development and underdevelopment as interdependent phenomena was part of the emergence of development economics as a research field in the 1950s. The main features of underdeveloped economic structures, according to Furtado, were their technological heterogeneity—in the sense of significant differences in the capital-labor ratio between two or more sectors—and underemployment caused by maladjustment between the availability of factors and irreversible production methods. Both characteristics were explained by the historical pattern of integration of those economies into international trade.

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  • Mauro Boianovsky, 2010. "A View from the Tropics: Celso Furtado and the Theory of Economic Development in the 1950s," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 42(2), pages 221-266, Summer.
  • Handle: RePEc:hop:hopeec:v:42:y:2010:i:2:p:221-266

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Tavlas, George S, 1997. "Chicago, Harvard, and the Doctrinal Foundations of Monetary Economics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(1), pages 153-177, February.
    2. David Laidler & Roger Sandilands, 2000. "An Early Harvard Memorandum on anti-Depression Policies. Introductory Note," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 20004, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
    3. Robert W. DIMAND, 2003. "Competing Visions For The U.S. Monetary System, 1907-1913: The Quest For An Elastic Currency And The Rejection Of Fisher'S Compensated Dollar Rule For Price Stability," Cahiers d’économie politique / Papers in Political Economy, L'Harmattan, issue 45, pages 101-121.
    4. Laidler, David, 1993. "Hawtrey, Harvard, and the Origins of the Chicago Tradition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(6), pages 1068-1103, December.
    5. Milton Friedman & Anna Jacobson Schwartz, 1970. "Introduction to "Monetary Statistics of the United States: Estimates, Sources, Methods"," NBER Chapters,in: Monetary Statistics of the United States: Estimates, Sources, Methods, pages 1-85 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Ahiakpor, James C. W., 2009. "The Phillips Curve Analysis: An Illustration Of The Classical Forced-Saving Doctrine," Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Cambridge University Press, vol. 31(02), pages 143-160, June.
    7. Patinkin, Don, 1969. "The Chicago Tradition, the Quantity Theory, and Friedman," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 1(1), pages 46-70, February.
    8. Johnson, Harry G, 1971. "The Keynesian Revolution and the Monetarist Counter-Revolution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(2), pages 1-14, May.
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